Traveling with kids – Car edition

Traveling with kids? Going on a road trip? Got kids in cars? I live my life on i95. I’ve got a couple of real life tips, y’all. Hope you find them helpful! They are gleaned from years of experience burning up the road between Virginia and North Carolina.

traveling with kids

I ain’t talking anything fancy. I’m talking survival.

CHECK TRAFFIC and adjust your trip accordingly.

Read: we basically do not travel anytime after lunch on Friday – Sunday. If you have to miss some school to come back on a peaceful Monday – DO IT. I also never travel on 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day.

Find your best rest stops along the way.

If you have a consistent route – have a “mid way point” your kids can look forward to. Our favorite traveling stop is a rest stop with clean bathrooms and a Dunkin’ Donuts. Donuts for kids and coffee for parents. We’ve been doing that for YEARS.

We use our rear view mirror as a gauge.

The left of the mirror is the starting point. The right of mirror is the ending. Throughout the trip when kids ask how close, we put our finger on the mirror to show them where we are as a visual. It is REALLY effective.

Let them pack their own bag of fun.

I let my kids bring a bag of whatever junk they want and they pack it – that makes it more likely they will play with it.


Tons of snacks from yogurt tubes, fruit, chips. I don’t care. Just throw food back there. Pro tip: Have a grocery bag ready for the trash. It’s easy to pass around and will help contain the mess!

Okay, one “spoil kids” idea! 

Get a bag of dollar toys and let them get one prize every hour on the trip. 

Be careful because this is definitely a special occasion idea.  If you have a huge drive (So I would not do this for our normal trips to NC but maybe driving to Disney or something?), it’s a fun way to countdown the hours and keeps them entertained.   Don’t set yourself up for every car trip but make this a special treat for the really big ones.

Good luck mama!

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